Sometimes I feel like having four kids is like holding down FOUR full time jobs. You know, like those start up companies where one person is juggling a million balls to fill four positions all rolled into one. Believe me, having helped to launch not one, but two, Internet start-ups “back in the day”, I know of what I speak. I used to put in 16 hour days in my previous life as a leader in a techie start-up . . . because in that culture, you did whatever it took to get the job done, whether it was technically your job or not. After all, you had one shot, and one shot only, to get your baby of a business off the ground.
So yesterday, it just kind of hit me, that my current life isn’t that drastically different from my old one. I put in very loooong days and do whatever it takes. As I see it, I’ve got one shot, and one shot only, to be with these little people through every age and stage. But multiply that one start up company by four and – – – well, I think you get the picture.
Just this week, there was so much going on that I really thought I was about to lose the plot. One wants to raise money to fund a well in Africa. So she was baking cakes, going door-to-door offering samples, and trying to get customers to pre-order her goods. Of course she had to create an order form, a delivery calendar, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention that now she has to fulfill the orders over the coming two weeks. Budding entrepreneur basically. Another one is entering a youth expo and was busy painting and photographing her entries. Budding artist, you might say. Number three had CoffeeCanTheater which came home from preschool. That involved telling stories, acting out the stories with puppets, and then writing the stories down. Hmmmm, budding writer / comedian / thespian? The last one is just a sponge taking it all in. Of course on top of that there’s the routine sports practices, school work, meetings, and playing.
And you know what? This isn’t a question of overscheduling. The majority of this stuff isn’t organized extra-curriculars that often can get such a bad rap. This stuff is just about letting them identify their interests and passions and run with them.
What’s a mom to do? It’s not like I can just pick a favorite “start-up” and tell the other three, “Tough luck, we’ve decided to pull your funding”. Wouldn’t that be rich?! Pick the kid with the most potential and get 100% behind her while letting the other ones just “go under”. OK – end fantasy analogy world and resume real life thinking.
So it’s long days and late nights for me. Not to mention that no matter what else is going on, they all have to be fed. I often joke and say that if they would just stop eating and wearing clothing that I would end up with an abundance of free time. They think that’s funny. I’m. Not. Joking. Anyway, amidst this past week’s flurry of activity and dinners, I served up a little Sweet Potato Curry with Brown Rice. It was a clear crowd pleaser and quite simple to pull together.
I started by just cutting the sweet potatoes into wedges and steaming them over some boiling water until they were tender.
While the spuds were steaming, I sauteed up some mushrooms.
I also sauteed up some shallots and chopped up a small bunch of cilantro.
Then I brought some coconut milk and water to a simmer in a skillet. To that I added some Thai red curry paste and cilantro. The sweet potatoes got tossed in next, along with the sauteed mushrooms and a drained can of bamboo shoots. Oh, I also tossed in some sauteed shallots to this mess of goodness.
I let that all just simmer a few so that the flavors could blend, and then spooned it over some brown rice, dished up some roasted bok choy on the side, and garnished with lime wedges.
Nothing particularly fancy, but definitely choc full of nutritious goodness for my “four little budding businesses”. Because no matter how thin I may be spread at this point in my life, there’s really no other place that I’d rather be investing my heart and my time.
Here’s the complete recipe for Sweet Potato Curry with Brown Rice.